Cycling in the Cold Weather

Hilary T riding the rail trail in Hudson Valley

Who likes to cycle when it’s below 30 degrees Fahrenheit? I don’t think most of us but in order to meet my goal this year, I want to try to ride as much as possible in the winter months. So, when I find a good day, I either reach out to my training partner or go out alone.

Today was one of those days

It was 28 degrees when I left the house this morning. I put the bike on my new flatbed rack and loaded the car with my bike gear and headed out to Jones Beach parking lot #6. I like starting there because you could go in either direction – toward Cedar Creek Park or toward Captree. On this chilly morning, my training partner and I headed toward Cedar Creek.

I took out my new road bike. The path was clear. There was no one on it except for us. The ride to Cedar was uneventful. I tried to do my workout of 4 x 10-minute intervals, but it was tough.

My fingers were numb. My feet were numb. And, all I kept thinking about was when we would get back in the open water. (I had been reading these books on the benefits of open water swimming in the cold. But, this is for another blog post.)

At Tobay

We rode to Tobay and went by the water. There were hundreds of birds that lined the shoreline. It was surreal. I had never seen birds there before, at least not that many.

I watched the water. It was calm. It looked inviting. My training partner didn’t want any part of it. “I’ll be going in the open water when it warms up to the high 50s,” he said to me. I laughed.

Riding back

The funny thing about this ride was that the wind was hitting us in every direction except on the way back. We got a nice push and it felt good and easy. I needed that. I felt like my heart rate was elevated for the first part of the trip and although my watts were spot on, my speed was nothing to look at. We had a nice easy ride back to the car and when it was over, I apologized for going so slow. My training partner replied, “any day outside is better than sitting on the trainer.” He was right. It was an enjoyable ride.